Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving Chicago taxpayers what they keep calling for: docking former Mayor Richard Daley's security.
Daley's retirement detail later this week will drop from six active police officers to three, and even then they'll be on call to the former first couple. When not used by the Daley's, the officers will be back in the neighborhoods doing policing, Emanuel said.
"[It's] transitional and temporary, and that's exactly what it means. It was transitional and temporary. We're going to save the taxpayers money," Emanuel said at a separate event to announce a partnership with Goldman Sachs.
Of the three available to the Daleys, one officer will be assigned to the former mayor while two will be available to assist Maggie Daley, who has struggled with metastatic cancer. Two assigned city vehicles will only be used when necessary.
"She has done countless, thousands of hours on behalf of the city as First Lady, and this is, in my view, a minor and small token way of saying an appreciation," said Emanuel.
The other three officers will return to street duty on a full time basis, and while the Daley's may ultimately lose all of their bodyguards, the mayor said that won't happen in short order.
"I think it's the decent thing to do as a city, and we're decent people," he said.
Emanuel previously approved the six-man security requested by Daley when the former mayor left office. After Emanuel answered taxpayer concerns to cut back on Ald. Ed Burke's security, residents still wanted a trim in Daley detail.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields on Monday criticized Emanuel for making taxpayers foot the bill for the security while asking the police department to cut millions from its budget.
Supt. Garry McCarthy said last month he must trim $190 million from his department's $1.3 billion annual budget.
Burke's security was swapped in favor of four retired officers. The eliminated detail, along with a few other politicians' details, saved the city $600,000, Emanuel said.